Raskin Takes Apart Trump Lawyer John Lauro’s ‘Deranged’ Argument

Former House impeachment manager and constitutional law professor Jamie Raskin explained to Meet the Press host Chuck Todd why Trump lawyer John Lauro’s ridiculous argument that Trump’s attempt to overturn the election was somehow “aspirational” but not “criminal” isn’t going to hold up in court.

Immediately following Lauro’s disastrous interview, Todd asked Raskin, “It was my understanding if you violate the Constitution, you have violated the law.”

REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, first of all, a technical violation of the Constitution is a violation of the Constitution. The Constitution, in six different places, opposes insurrection and makes that a grievous constitutional offense. Um so our Constitution is designed to stop people from trying to overthrow elections and trying to overthrow the government.

But in any event, there’s a whole apparatus of criminal law which is in place to enforce this constitutional principle. That’s what Donald Trump is charged with violating. He conspired to defraud the American people out of our right to an honest election by substituting the real, legal process we have under federal and state law with counterfeit electors.

I mean, there are people who are in jail for several years for counterfeiting one vote, if they try to vote illegally once. He tried to steal the entire election. And his lawyer’s up there saying, “Oh, that’s just a matter of him expressing his First Amendment rights.” That’s deranged. That is a deranged argument.

It is deranged, but apparently they don’t care about what happens in court, and only the court of public opinion and what their cult believes. Todd pointed out that what they’re trying sounds like the old Nixon defense, and as Raskin explained, sadly, Republicans aren’t responding to Trump’s crimes in the same manner they did with Nixon:

REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, first of all, he’s charged as part of a conspiracy. So, there were lots of people who were involved in doing it. But in any event, uh the law that applies to the rest of us also applies to the president of the United States, a principle they understood very well during the impeachment when they were saying, “Well, let’s not do it during the impeachment because he’s already left office. Deal with this as a matter of criminal law.”

That’s what Senator McConnell said. That’s what a bunch of the Republicans said. Now it’s like a three-card monte. You can’t get him for impeachment because he’s already left office, but you can’t get him for criminal law, because he once was president. I mean, America can see what’s going on here. This is a guy who wants to appoint himself completely immune from the rule of law that applies to the rest of us.

Todd also asked Raskin about Smith not charging Trump with insurrection and wanting to ” avoid a debate over the First Amendment.”

REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, there’s a criminal statute: aiding and abetting, or giving aid and comfort to insurrectionists. Which to the mind of the January 6th committee Donald Trump definitely did. I mean, he’s calling them “great patriots.” He’s saying, “Never forget this day.” He continues to laud them to this very day in saying that, when he gets back in, he’s gonna pardon all of those people. I mean, they’re convicted of assaulting our police officers, and he’s talking about pardoning them.

A lot of them have pled guilty to seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to overthrow the government. So, um yeah. But he’s being charged with conspiracy to obstruct a federal proceeding, the joint session of Congress, and conspiring to defraud us all out of our voting rights. He tried to steal the election away from us.

Exactly, which is not just a matter of “free speech.” Trump’s lawyers are all really bad at their jobs. It’s too bad the court proceedings aren’t going to be televised, because the public should be allowed to watch this train wreck when it finally happens.

Raskin Takes Apart Trump Lawyer John Lauro’s ‘Deranged’ Argument

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